Wednesday, February 3, 2016

My First Stitch Fix

Fashion blogging is hard.  I never really knew how hard until I had to take these pictures.  I tried posing in a few different mirrors around the house with two different cameras and my iPhone.  I finally settled into a spot and it started pouring rain, so I had virtually no natural light.  I think there is definitely a learning curve here that I need to climb.  Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, here is what I received in my first shipment.  For details on how this service works, please read through to the end of the post.  

Lisbon Stud Detail Blouse by 41Hawthorn ($58):  I was not immediately crazy about the print of the blouse, although I did like the cut.  One of the main reasons I wanted to try Stitch Fix is to get a little bit out of my clothing comfort zone and try something I wouldn't naturally gravitate to.  Of course, I had to try this on first.

Brittany, my stylist, suggested that I try it with jeans, for a put together casual look.  I also pulled a pair of booties out of my closet to create a look as I would wear it for running errands.

Here is a closer detail shot of the print and the gold studs that line the neck and sleeves.   I definitely would have preferred this shirt in a solid color.

I also tried to wear the blouse the way I would if I was going into the office, so I put on my favorite Sloan pants by Banana Republic, a long cardigan, and some knee-high black boots.  I liked that the addition of the cardi made the print a little less loud.  It is a bit hard to tell, but the base color of the shirt is navy blue.  I haven't tried this color combination before, but I think it worked well with the black (although I am pretty sure I am breaking some color matching rule here).

The cardigan that I chose from my closet has the same gold stud detail as the top sewn into the fabric along the edge.

Jarred Lace Detail Cap-Sleeve Blouse by Brixton Ivy ($68):  I LOVED THIS TOP IMMEDIATELY!!  The drapey fit was perfect, and I adored the lace detailing around the neckline and sleeves.  I had pinned quite a few lacy tops to my Pinterest board, and my stylist definitely used that as a point of reference.  This is a great option for my business-casual office.

Since I already had my favorite work pants on, I first tried an all black look.

Emer Printed Straight Leg Pant by Margaret M ($98):  I had also pinned some printed pants to my Pinterest board, and Brittney took notice.  She suggested I try these on with the lace top for an easy to wear work outfit.  I added some black wedges for a spring/summer office look.  These pants are somewhere between leggings and actual pants, with an elastic waistband that makes them extremely comfortable.  I am definitely going to keep these.  The length is perfect.

Pinson Drape Cardigan by Brixton Ivy  ($54):  Brittany also said I should try this cardigan on to complete the sweet and edgy look.  I was so excited to receive this item, because I had pinned this exact one to my Pinterest board.  It has two dreamy layers and drapes really nicely in all the right places.  I added my boots to complete more of a wintery look that I mighty wear into the office today.

 Leighton Metal Bauble Necklace ($34):  My fifth and final piece was a necklace.  It was reminiscent of the J Crew Bubble Necklace that was so popular a few years back, but in a metallic color.  I didn't completely love the statement necklace (I have so many statement necklaces at this point that it takes a lot to blow me away), but with the 25% discount that Stitch Fix gives you for keeping all five pieces, it was cheaper to keep it then to send it back.  

I threw on a simple black sweater since I already had the printed pants on, and I do think the necklace adds a certain charming detail to the outfit.  I think I would like it just as much with a plain t-shirt and jeans.

Overall, my stylist Brittany did a really good job at understanding what it was I wanted for my first fix, a combination of office and work-from-home clothing.  I really wanted to keep the lace top, printed pants, and cardigan.  However, Stitch Fix gives you 25% off when you keep all of the items, so it was cheaper to keep the two items I was on the fence about (the necklace and printed top).  I am really looking forward to trying this service again.

If you are interested in trying your own Stitch Fix, here is my referral link  (I get a Stitch Fix credit if you use my link).  Once you create your own account, you take a style profile quiz to help you stylist identify your likes and wants.  You are also encouraged to create a Pinterest board, where you can pin items that suit your style and even request items from other people's fixes that you want for yourself. There is a styling fee of $20 per fix, which goes towards keeping any items you decide that you can't live without.  If you keep all 5 items they send you, you get an additional 25% off of your entire order.

It is worth mentioning that you can have fixes sent to you as often or infrequently as you want.  There is an option for automatic fixes (delivered in intervals of your choosing), as well as an option for a one time fix.  Either way, you get to choose the approximate delivery date.  You can also choose not to have certain types of items or colors sent in your fixes.  You can even choose items for upcoming events (think wedding season shopping) and the price points you are comfortable spending.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Long Time Ago, We Used To Be Friends

If you have been following this blog for any length of time, you may already know that I have three dogs.  I LOVE my dogs. To my husband and I, they are family.  We adopted Meatball in 2008, and Petunia and Harriet in 2010.  We have all lived together happily since then.

OK, it hasn't been all roses and sunshine, but for the most part, everyone got along. Then we moved to Georgia.  Nothing has been the same since.
My three fur babies hanging out in our hotel room on our cross-country drive
It happened almost immediately, the first night we lived in our new house.  Petunia saw Taco the cat, and all hell broke loose.  It was a downhill spiral from there.  Petunia and Harriet were always frenemies. They weren't the best of friends, like Petunia was with Meatball, but they tolerated each other.

In the new house, everything was different.  They couldn't stand each other.  There were fights. Blood was drawn.  Then there was the worst night.  The night everything changed for good.
Staying with family, a few days before we moved into out new home
My husband had gone out of town for work.  My mom was up for a visit with a friend and had gone to pick up dinner.  It was getting dark, and I had run into the foyer to turn on the outside lights so she could see when she returned.  All three dogs followed.

My mom put the key in the door.  Meatball barked.  I saw Harriet and Petunia glare at each other. Then they started to fight.  I scooped up Petunia into my arms in an effort to stop it from getting worse.

I had a solitary moment where I thought that the crisis had been averted.  Suddenly, Harriet jumped up after Petunia, and caught her tail in her mouth.  That is when she bit the tip off.  It happened so fast that I wasn't even aware of what took place until the damage was done.

Harriet and Petunia, the first few weeks in our new home
The rest of the night was a blur.  There was blood and panic and a trip to the emergency vet that ended in surgery.  Petunia was a trooper (and much calmer about the whole thing than the rest of us). In the end she was OK (and again, doing much better than the rest of us).  It was a horrific evening that lasted until I brought her home at about 2 am.
The last picture of everyone together, before our "new normal"
I asked the vet for answers.  Why was this happening?  How can our doglife have changed so drastically in just a few weeks?  Were they fighting for dominance in this new home territory? Would this issue go away on its own?  Could we go back to our old sense of "normal"?
We had Harriet tested for thyroid issues (which can lead to a drastic change in behavior), and everything checked out ok.  We went to a dog behaviorist, and that only served to provide a band-aid for a problem that obviously wasn't going to go away.  Things didn't get better.  We just learned how to work around them.  Stress levels were at an all time high.  I read as much as I could on the subject to try to figure out our next steps.

One of our neighbors recommended a consultation with a new behavioral specialist that specifically deals with aggression. They had experienced some of the same types of issues with their dogs, and this seemed to make it better.  I made an appointment, which is coming up soon.  I still have that nagging question in the back of my mind, "If this doesn't work, then what?".  I don't know how this story is going to end, but I am hanging on to hope.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Did I Mention Our New House Came With A Cat?

Meet Taco.  

While my husband and I are decidedly dog people, we have both had our share of cats growing up.  Being that we already had three pups, we weren't exactly looking to grow our small furry family.  However, the night we moved in, a large orange cat appeared on our back deck.  He was peering in through the glass panes in the door.  He seemed comfortable.  He seemed familiar with the house. He seemed like he wasn't going anywhere any time soon.

Petunia was the first to notice him.  At first they seemed to have some kind of staring contest, with neither flinching even a tiny bit.  My dogs had not really been exposed to cats, and she seemed to be a bit confused. She turned her head to the side and squealed.  Then she decided to attack.  The glass door was the only thing between them.  She barked.  She howled.  She got the attention of our other dogs.  That is when it all went to hell.  

It all happened in a flash.  Meatball lunged and pushed the door open.  Harriet attacked Petunia.  The cat swiped his paw across Meatball's nose.  My husband and I pulled the girls apart.  The cat remained still. Clearly, this was not his first dog rodeo.  Luckily, none of the dogs were hurt, but it was clear this cat had to go.

When we talked to the previous owner of our house, she said the cat wasn't theirs, and that the neighborhood fed him.  Also that his name was Taco and he was thirteen years old.  We thought that maybe we could deter the cat from coming around here.  Obviously our dogs couldn't handle it, and there was so much stress involved with the move already.  The dogs were here first.  Then we met our neighbors.

Our house came on a nice big lot in a very woodsy area.  Along with the deer and the squirrels and enormous hawks (and rumors of a bear) come the snakes.  It was no secret that there are copperheads in this area, and I was completely terrified of them.  Apparently that is why the previous owner bought Taco. The consensus from a few of the the neighbors is that he comes from a long line of copperhead killing cats. There were tales of his crawling back to the house with a constrictor wrapped around him.  He was brave and he was old and our garage came with a cat door.

So we decided to give him a shot.  We went out to Petsmart and researched and then purchased cat food and a bed.  We encouraged him to use the cat door.  On the third night he brought my husband a mouse.  He was so proud as he dropped it at his feet.  He could have the garage and the dogs could have the rest of the house.  He had obviously earned his place long before we arrived here.

So now we have a cat.  A loving, sweet boy who wants nothing more than a warm lap and scratches on the head and to help us decorate our yard for the holidays.  A cat who stays away from the back deck and the ire of our protective and befuddled dogs.

As much as I would love to end this post by letting you know that we all lived happily ever after, it is far from the truth.  Things have worked out well in keeping the dogs and cat separated, but that night was also the beginning of something more sinister.  It was the beginning of the end of Petunia and Harriet getting along.  Things would get so much worse, and I didn't even know it yet.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Santa Baby...A 2015 Christmas Wishlist

It seems like we just moved into our new house, and somehow, Christmas is already here.  To tell you the truth, I haven't had the easiest time making the transition from Californian to Georgian. There has been a lot of drama around our dogs Petunia and Harriet no longer getting along, but I will save that for another blog post.

I have been trying to focus on getting the house together, and hope to have all of our rooms fairly comfortable by the end of the year.  I am finally getting to build my dream vanity (I have wanted one since I was a little girl), and I will have a proper place to "put myself together" in the mornings.  I just need a few things to make it complete.  

I have been doing a fair amount of traveling for work, and I really think it is time to update my toiletry bag. Also, it is cold here!  I have never had a house where I had to worry about things like covering the outdoor spigots so they don't freeze over.  I didn't even know that was a thing people did.  Anyway, it is a good excuse as any for a new pair of Uggs.

I wish you all a very happy holiday season!  I will be back soon with some life and home updates.

Christmas Wishlist 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Time We Bought A House From 2500 Miles Away (And A Quick Tour)

For most people, their home is the single biggest investment they will ever make.  We are those people.  For this reason, buying a house that we had never seen in person before from across the country made for one stressful summer.  This was definitely one of the craziest things we have ever done, and here is how it all went down.

When we decided to move to Atlanta, we had no plans to go back for a visit.  We had originally found a house we really liked while there to see family and made an offer, but we lost it.  However, it lit a fire under us to move.  My mother was getting older and needed some help.  We were so far away. We had always talked about moving back east someday, and it became clear to us that someday was now.

The house buying process was not an easy one.  There were offers that were not accepted, properties that didn't appraise for asking prices, and problems uncovered in inspections.  We had to rely heavily on my family to look at the listings we were interested in and take detailed pictures and videos to send to us. My husband and I each had a list of things we wanted this house to have.  We had always talked about our first house being our five year house (we lived there for seven and a half years).  This was to be our forever home.  This time, we knew exactly what we were looking for.

It had to have some land and some privacy.  We didn't want to be able to wave at our neighbors in their dining room from our office window anymore.  It had to have a kitchen that we could both work in at the same time.  A big yard for the dogs.  More space for storage.  A garage with a workspace.  A bathroom with a double-vanity.  It had to have an in-law unit.

We decided to make this move in mid-May, and on September first, we started our journey across the country.  We had purchased our forever home, and we had never even seen it in person.  When we finally did get to see it, I took these pictures on my iPhone (sorry the quality isn't better).  Luckily, we were not disappointed.

 The first thing we fell in love with (via pictures) was the coffered ceilings in the living room.  OK, so this was not something on our must have list, but it was beautiful.  

I am a sucker for built-ins.

We loved all the open space.  The living room area is actually called a great room, with the built-ins on one side and fireplace on the other. I have no idea how to furnish a space this big.

It opens up into one side of the deck.

This is the view outside of the front door.  Hello privacy!

We wanted a large formal dining room for family get-togethers.  This room definitely needs a chandelier with a bit more bling.

A kitchen with an island was on both of our lists.  

There are cute details like these decorative tiles on the deck.

There is a bonus room which is perfect for our home office.

The master bedroom has a large walk-in closet (you can guess whose list that one was on).

And a beautiful double-vanity and separate tub and shower.

We absolutely love our new home, and have so many plans for the future.  For now, we are still in the process of unpacking and getting settled.  I hope to share more about the things we end up doing to make this place our own.  I have a feeling this will be a work in process for years to come.  

Friday, September 11, 2015

On The Road Again

Last week my little family of five spent a moderately epic week driving across the country. This is what we looked like the night before we left.  Not nearly as ready as we should have been.  We grossly underestimated how long it would take us to pack up our small house. As it turns out, not having a lot of square footage has nothing to do with just how much stuff you own.  

We packed well into the night, got up early the next day to pack some more, and tried to get on the road by 1 pm.  I am sure you know how this story goes.  We needed to be out of the house no later than 5 pm so the new owners could take ownership.  We didn't wrap up until 7:30.  We were panicked and tired and probably a little bit stinky. This is the last shot I took in front of our house, ready to embark on our cross-country trip.

Somewhere around Needles, CA.  I felt like we were driving into a painting.

This was a tunnel on a road that went to somewhere.  I would love to go back one day an see where it leads.

We passed through a lot of wind farms, especially in California and Texas.

We listened to a book to keep us occupied during the long hours on the road.  We also had the steady soundtrack of Meatball and Petunia snoring in the back seat.

We spent the night in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.  I got to see the original London Bridge.  I have now crossed over both of them (mark that item off the bucket list).

Beautiful desert scenery in Tucumcari, New Mexico.

I was still trying to stay on top of my day job at night.  Harriet was ready to take a letter for me.  

Into the great wide open, in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Taking some time out to do a little readjustment.  If you haven't ever tried to find a patch of grass in the desert for your three suburban gravel and sand loathing dogs to poop on, you really haven't lived.

Crossing over the mighty Mississippi River into Memphis.

After a long day on the road, Meatball likes to unwind with a chewie and something random on the hotel tv.

I had to take a picture of the price of gas in Alabama.  Being from California, I would call this a bit of a reverse sticker shock.  I had no idea gas prices were so low in some parts of the country.  

Driving through Cordova, Alabama.

Are we there yet?

The last leg of our journey.  We finally made it to Atlanta, and the beginning of our next adventure. Now we just need to close on our new house. Our pod won't be here for a while, which gives us some time to explore our new town.  I haven't lived here in fifteen years, so I need to learn how to get around again, what the fun things to explore are, and how to get to Costco (we are going to need a lot of paper towels).  

I'm Erin

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Hi, I am Erin. Transplanted east coaster, living on the left coast. I love to take pictures and read fashion magazines.... and to talk about nothing in particular (ok, and my dogs).

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